Sunday, May 27, 2007

Things are looking up ...

The weather in Santorini hasn’t been very good lately, so the guests, who were lured here by the promises of wonderful sunshines and amazing sunsets, found themselves confined to their suites and were very edgy. They started noticing all sorts of unimportant details that normally, if the weather was fine and were enjoying their cruises or walks, they wouldn’t notice at all.

Thankfully the weather has improved and many of the amenities that the hotel should have but didn’t because they haven’t been shipped/ordered/bought yet are now available. So the complaining customers are now less. We no longer offer them free nights as compensations. I also feel that I am getting the hang of it. Things are quiet now and everybody is less tired and calmer as well.

I did a major flomp on Wednesday the 23rd. I was supposed to arrange for transfer for a certain couple and I didn’t. The circumstances made this particular mistake inexcusable. These people had been in and out of the reception office all morning and yet I forgot to call the driver when it was time for them to be picked up. Everybody went ballistic. On a scale of dissastroufulness from 1 to 10 this felt like a 15.

The hotel manager, Antonia was not only furious but close to tears and the owner/boss had to drive them herself. Needless to say I have lost her favor there and then (not that I had it in the first place). Ever since every word she ever utters to me is to correct me and at the same time makes me feel like I’m four. I suppose it serves me right up to a point. I really wished she got over it thought. Other than that I haven’t made any other huge mistakes and that’s a relief.

The hotel was inspected by Starwood and we passed the test (yupee!!!), so that’s one less thing to worry about.

I run out of money and need to go to the bank to make a withdraw. Unfortunately the bank is closed on Monday, it’s a holiday so I guess that leaves Tuesday. I lost my ATM card a few days before moving to Santorini. That’s a mixed blessing. On one hand my life is somewhat more difficult without it. I need to take a whole trip to a different village in order to find a bank. On the other hand it’s a good thing too because I would probably had spent a lot more otherwise.

I can’t believe how expensive things are here. I spend 200 euros on food and necessities in less than 15 days. I really wanted to watch “Pirates of the Caribbean III” and I guess I still have the chance, I just need to arrange the schedule with my colleague.

So far so good …

Monday, May 21, 2007

Santorini: Good news & Bad news

Well this is my second post about my job in Santorini and I have to declare these:

Being a receptionist is much more difficult than what it seems. I have a small expoerience in that section but nothing like that. The hotel I'm working for is a high profile establishment (Starwoods Hotels) with dozens of rules and standarts about how the hotel should operate and what we can and can't do. I'm always worried I'm going to brake one or two and get in trouble.

This job turns out to be harder and more challenging but at the same time I really like it there. The manager is a very nice and friendly girl with tons of understanding. The thing is we (me and the other receptionist) are totally inexperienced and quite frankly I don't get how we got the job in the first place. My quess is they waited untill the very last minute to find personel and so they had to make do with whoever was available. That is very good for me, because I'm learning a lot of new things and my time in this hotel is something that will look good on my resume, but I' m afraid it's not so good for them.

We received some training in a program called FIDELIO, (very famous in the hotel industry). Sixteen hours to be precise that was hardly enought but time was of the essence. We've been given a few simple instructions and that was it. Naturally when the time came I wasn't ready and neither was the other girl. That was on the 15th of this month. Things weren't looking up and the manager and her supervisor decided that we needed some more training. That's both good and bad. It's good because I feel confident that with a little bit more guidence and supervision we will both improve. I most definitely will. I need someone to show me the ropes and I've been told I'm a slow learner.

But at the same time it's bad, because it means that our performance so far is seriously lacking. F we could do what we were hired to do we wouldn't be needing any more training, would we? I really wish I was a star emploee but it's painfully obvious that I'm not. Anyway, I really like this job, I want to be good and not suck at it. And I will. On the bright side I received my first tip for this season: 10 euros. It's not much but at least it's an indication that I'm not totaly hopeless.

Another thing that is trobling is that the hotel was not really ready to accept guest yet. The facility is simply not ready. There are dozens of small technical problems that crop up every day. So far every guest has some sort of complain and the complimentary dinners and cuts in the prices of the rooms in order to apease the unsatissfied guest are a daily phenomenon. Today is the first day that we haven't heard any complains, but of course I left at four in the afternoon. The hotel has only 18 suites and it will be full tommorow. Hopefully things will improve and whatever needs fixing will be fixed and whatever needs doing will be done soon and we won't have any more unsatisfied guests.

Here is the website of the hotel: http://www.mystique.gr/

Thursday, May 17, 2007

I moved to Santorini

My posts about my adventures in the island will be posted in English because I want to share my news with my internet friends who are not all Greeks.

I have moved to Santorini at Friday 11/5/2007 and will stay there until 15/11/2007. I work as a receptionist in a hotel. Although I have worked as a receptionist before this is very different. It's a high profile hotel and there are a hundred things I have to remember. I hope I will get the hang of it soon.

The prices here are outrageous! One hour at an internet cafe costs 10 euros. These past few days I have been extremely busy. The hotel is very new this is the first season of operations, and although it opened it's doors on the 15th, there are still a million things left to do in order to make the rooms available, and no time to do them. All the managers/owners are running like crazy, there is a lot of aggravation and everyone is dog tired.

In the arrangement they agreed to provide food and boarding so at least I don't have to worry about that. I live with two other girls, one of them is a receptionist like me and the other one works in the kitchen. They seem nice but I don't really know them that well yet. Also we get to wear uniforms, white trousers (very unforgiving), white shirt and a light brown jacket. However the shirts haven’t arrived yet so we use our own clothes, and I had to buy shoes, white flats with no decorations. I did manage to find a suitable pair in Fira, so that’s one thing less to do on my checklist.

Among the many regulations is: no jewellery and very discreet make up. I always thought that my make up and jewellery were very discreet but I was wrong. I guess you are the last one to know these things.

I am using the computer at my work and my boss doesn't know it because she is not here yet. My internet time will be very limited from now on, but I will try to ad posts from time to time to tell how things are going for me.
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